An hour into Tuesday’s NL Wild Card game at Nationals Park, as Max Scherzer was completing his 4th inning on the mound, the stadium’s emergency alert system malfunctioned. Alarms blared in the press box, and the stadium’s PA system went silent.
For baseball purists, it was a rare opportunity to temporarily enjoy the sounds of the game without modern “influences.”
But then the Brewers side was retired, and the Nats presidents race began.
The usual introductory video played on the Nats HD scoreboard, and the racing presidents entered through the center field gate, but there were no introductions or play-by-play to be heard from Nationals Park PA announcer Jerome Hruska. There was no “Runnin’ Down a Dream” playing by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. And when the “Secret Service” handlers placed a fake boom box on the field so that the presidents could pause and perform a dance number to “Lose Control” by Missy Elliott, there was only silence.
Without a clear Plan B, chaos ensued. Teddy Roosevelt ignored his handler’s pleas to stop, and raced past the dance spot toward the finish line, only to be stopped there by another handler. Abe Lincoln zoomed by, accidentally breaking the finish line tape; but both were sent back to the boom box to perform their dance number. Without music.
Waiting there was Nats in-game host Brittney Ramsey, who crouched on the sideline and shouted out the rhythms so the presidents could follow along and perform their dance moves while a confused sellout crowd looked on in silence.
Finally, one of the handlers yelled “Go, Teddy, Go! Finish the race!” Teddy broke for the finish line, and took the first presidents race victory of the postseason.